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11/13/2017- Urban Coyotes

Urban Coyotes – a real concern for Georgia and Alabama landowners – AND HOMEOWNERS

Coyotes and issue for urban and rural landowners in Alabama and Georgia Alabama and Georgia rural property coyotes Georgia and Alabama rural land - coyotes are a real problem, despite benefits they provide

By Meaghan English, TrueSouth Properties Wildlife Specialist

Wow, it’s hard to believe that November is already here and gun season in Alabama opens up in just a few short days. The brisk weather has encouraged deer movement and I believe this opening weekend is going to be much cooler than last year. But, deer aren’t the only creatures out and about; coyotes have been making appearances more than usual and that is NOT a good sign.

Every day on my commute to and from work, I keep one eye on the road and one eye on the side of the road for elusive wildlife. It is nothing out of the ordinary to see deer and turkeys on the side of highways that run through rural parts of Alabama. However, it is alarming at the coyote sightings that have occurred. I remember growing up, coyotes rarely ever showed their hide during daylight hours. It was always at dawn or dusk, when you could barely make out a figure. You knew it was a coyote by the way they darted across the road or field, with their tail tucked between their legs and their nose to the ground. Back then coyotes weren’t too much of a threat; they kept rabbit and mouse numbers in check and were hardly ever seen in the daytime. If you saw one in the daytime, it was rumored that that particular canine was suffering from rabies. Personally, I feel that those days are long gone and coyotes are a SEVERE threat. Not only do I see coyotes during the daytime now, I see several of them. And they aren’t sticking to their rural roots; they have invited themselves into neighborhoods and heavily populated areas. Once they get to these areas, they help themselves to people’s pets and cause a great amount of heartache and grief. This leads me to believe that the coyote population is out of control. No longer are the days where we only had to worry about a coyote’s impact on small mammals or fawns, we now have to worry about our pets and how comfortable these canines are with human contact. The most recent pet attacks have happened in Mobile, AL. I don’t know about ya’ll, but that’s a little too close to home for me.

The urban sprawl of coyotes is a sure sign that their numbers are way up. It is pertinent that coyotes are managed heavily and effectively on hunting and recreational land. I know that there is an increase in daytime sightings because there is an increase in the coyote population as a whole.

By: Meaghan English

My name is Meaghan English, a wildlife specialist with TrueSouth. I graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Ecology and Management and I have grown up with a passion for hunting. I knew from an early age that I was not only interested in the harvesting of wildlife, but I was also very interested in their biology and management. I decided that I not only wanted to be a wildlife enthusiast, I want to be an educated wildlife specialist. I will be using that grand education as a member of the TrueSouth team contributing wildlife blog articles!

My first hunting memory flashes back to when I was six or seven years old. Like any other Saturday during deer season, my dad had told my mom to get me ready because we were going hunting. Of course I was ecstatic! I was not ecstatic about the hair bow my mom made me wear with my camouflage (she wanted everyone to know I was in fact a fashionable girl). The entire way to Perdue Hill, Alabama, my dad told me that today would be the first day I would actually shoot my first deer and I knew I was ready. We pulled up to the camp, unloaded, and fed all the “camp cats”. Before we headed to our stand, I had spotted three kittens that I simply could not leave behind so I stuffed them in my jacket. After walking what seemed like five miles, we finally made it to the “Pressbox stand” (with my smuggled kittens) and sat down. Dad continuously pestered me to be quiet, but I wasn’t that worried about shooting a deer, I had kittens! Eventually, the sun began to sink behind the trees and a spike (without olfactory senses) entered the field. When it was safe to quietly move, dad handed me the gun and I handed him my three kittens. I slowly pulled the gun up and placed my cheek against the stock. Dad told me to breathe slowly and pull the trigger when I was ready. Sure enough, I pulled the trigger and the spike hit the ground. We high-fived, exchanged kittens again, and climbed down to see the kill. It certainly was not a wall hanger, but a huge chapter in my life was started that night. My dad and I still hunt together to this day and we practice quality deer management at all times.

My ultimate goal is to provide clients with a survey of flora and fauna that currently inhabit a specific tract of land and, if desired, how to properly manage that land for the species that are found there. All feedback is greatly appreciated and I look forward to working with you!

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